Richard Dawkins and pseudoscience

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Within the evolutionary science community and the creation science community, the evolutionist and agnostic Richard Dawkins has faced charges of engaging in pseudoscience and has also faced charges of committing elementary errors.[1][2]

Within the evolutionary science community and the creation science community, the evolutionist and agnostic Richard Dawkins has faced charges of engaging in pseudoscience and has also faced charges of committing elementary errors.[3]

The website True Free Thinker notes:

Moreover, note that with regards to “assertions without adequate evidence” evolutionary biologist and geneticist, Prof. Richard Lewontin, referenced Carl Sagan’s list of the “best contemporary science-popularizers” which includes Richard Dawkins. These authors have, as Lewontin puts it, “put unsubstantiated assertions or counterfactual claims at the very center of the stories they have retailed in the market.” Lewontin specifically mentions “Dawkins’s vulgarizations of Darwinism” (find details here and here).

Even renowned evolutionary biologists H. Allen Orr, David Sloan Wilson, and Massimo Pigliucci have called into question the power that Dawkins once had as an intellectual, since he has made elementary errors in The God Delusion.[4]

In the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Nature, Nathaniel Comfort gave a negative review of Richard Dawkins' contribution as a scientist and he wrote:

Much of Dawkins's research has been in silico, writing programs for evolutionary simulations. In his simulations, life is utterly determined by genes, which specify developmental rules and fixed traits such as colour. The more lifelike his digital animals ("biomorphs") become, the more persuaded he is that real genes work in roughly the same way. Dawkins's critics accuse him of genetic determinism. This synopsis of his work shows that his life virtually depends on it.

A curious stasis underlies Dawkins's thought. His biomorphs are grounded in 1970s assumptions. Back then, with rare exceptions, each gene specified a protein and each protein was specified by a gene. The genome was a linear text -- a parts list or computer program for making an organism --insulated from the environment, with the coding regions interspersed with "junk".

Today's genome is much more than a script: it is a dynamic, three-dimensional structure, highly responsive to its environment and almost fractally modular. Genes may be fragmentary, with far-flung chunks of DNA sequence mixed and matched in bewildering combinatorial arrays. A universe of regulatory and modulatory elements hides in the erstwhile junk. Genes cooperate, evolving together as units to produce traits. Many researchers continue to find selfish DNA a productive idea, but taking the longer view, the selfish gene per se is looking increasingly like a twentieth-century construct.

Dawkins's synopsis shows that he has not adapted to this view. He nods at cooperation among genes, but assimilates it as a kind of selfishness. The microbiome and the 3D genome go unnoticed. Epigenetics is an "interesting, if rather rare, phenomenon" enjoying its "fifteen minutes of pop science voguery", which it has been doing since at least 2009, when Dawkins made the same claim in The Greatest Show on Earth (Transworld). Dawkins adheres to a deterministic language of "genes for" traits. As I and other historians have shown, such hereditarianism plays into the hands of the self-styled race realists (N. Comfort Nature 513, 306-307; 2014).[5]

The works of New Atheist, including the work of New Atheist Richard Dawkins, often betray an amateurish knowledge of philosophy/religion/science. For example, atheist philosopher Dr. Michael Ruse declared concerning Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion: "The God Delusion makes me embarrassed to be an atheist."[6] Vox Day's book The Irrational atheist found multiple errors in reasoning and factual errors when it came to the works of New Atheist authors.

See also: Atheism and arrogance

In 2010, a new discovery regarding the eye further discredited the evolutionary quackery of Richard Dawkins.[7] In addition, in 2010, the journal Nature featured an interview with the evolutionist, biologist, and atheist David Sloan Wilson who criticized Richard Dawkins for denying the evidence for the societal benefits of religion (see also: Atheism and Mental and Physical Health).[8][9]

Concerning the social science of history, Richard Dawkins has engaged in historical revisionism when it comes to the mass murders committed by atheists.

Many of Richard Dawkins detractors are conservative Christians which is not surprising. The Wall Street Journal reported: "A comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians."[10] In the United States, CBS News reported in October 2005 that the Americans most likely to believe only in the theory of evolution are liberals.[11]

Survey of scientists: Richard Dawkins misrepresents science and scientists

The Independent reported:

British scientists who mentioned Richard Dawkins during a recent study seem mostly to dislike him, with some arguing that he misrepresents science and is misleading the public.

Criticism of the British evolutionary biologist came up repeatedly in a new study looking at public understanding of science and how scientists feel that they are portrayed in the media – despite respondents never actually being asked about him. The research was published in a recent edition of Public Understandings of Science as part of a broader study looking at how scientists feel about religion.

As part of the study, the researchers conducted a survey of over 20,000 scientists from eight countries. In the UK, the researchers surveyed 1,581 randomly sampled scientists. They then spoke to 137 of them for in-depth interviews to see what they thought.

Though Dawkins wasn’t a part of the interview process, and researchers didn’t ask about him, 48 of the 137 British scientists they spoke to mentioned Dawkins. Of those 48 that referenced him, 80 per cent said they thought that Dawkins misrepresents science and scientists in his books and public speeches, according to the study by Rice University, Texas.[12]

See also

External links